Election 2018: School Funding

Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul are running a school funding levy referendum this year.

In Minneapolis, there are two questions:

Approval of School District Referendum Revenue Authorization

The Board of Special School District No. 1 (Minneapolis Public Schools) has proposed to increase its general education revenue by $490.00 per pupil. The proposed referendum revenue authorization would increase each year by the rate of inflation and be applicable for seven years beginning with taxes payable in 2019, unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law.

Shall the increase in the revenue proposed by the board of Special School District No. 1 be approved?

AND:

Approval of School District Capital Project Levy Authorization

The Board of Special School District No. 1 (Minneapolis Public Schools) has proposed a capital project levy authorization in the amount of 2.249% times the net tax capacity of the school district to provide funds for the purchase, installation, and maintenance of software applications and technology equipment, and for training and directly related personnel costs. The proposed capital project levy authorization will raise approximately $12,000,000 for taxes payable in 2019, the first year it is to be levied, and would be authorized for seven years. The estimated total cost of the projects to be funded over that time period is approximately $84,000,000.

Shall the increase in the revenue proposed by the board of Special School District No. 1 be approved?

In St. Paul, there is one question:

Revoking Existing Operating Referendum Revenue Authorization; Approving New Authorization

The school board of Independent School District No. 625, Saint Paul Public Schools, has proposed to revoke the school district’s existing operating referendum revenue authorization of $704.52 per pupil and to replace that authorization with a new authorization of $1179.52 per pupil. The proposed referendum revenue authorization would increase each year by the rate of inflation and be applicable for ten years, beginning with taxes payable in 2019, unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law.

Shall the school district’s existing operating referendum revenue authorization be revoked and the increase in revenue proposed by the school board of Independent School District No. 625, Saint Paul Public Schools, be approved?

Saint Paul has a Vote Yes site.

Minneapolis has a Vote Yes Twice site.

There does not appear to be any organized opposition to either initiative.

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Elections 2018: Minneapolis School Board At-Large

I didn’t write about this race in the primary because there were five candidates running in the primary, four of whom would advance to the general election, and I thought that surely Doug Mann would come in last and I could just write about this race in October. That is exactly what happened. There are four candidates running for two at-large seats (which is to say, seats that are supposed to represent the whole city).

On the ballot:

Kimberly Caprini (DFL-endorsed)
Sharon El-Amin
Josh Pauly (DFL-endorsed)
Rebecca Gagnon (Incumbent)

Kimberly Caprini and Josh Pauly are both DFL-endorsed. Rebecca Gagnon is an incumbent. There are two open seats, so you get to vote for two people (but you don’t get to rank people because school board races are controlled by state legislation and not by the city).

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Election 2018: Minneapolis City Question

There is a City Charter referendum on the Minneapolis ballot this year, asking the following question:

City Question

Remove Area and Spacing Requirements for Liquor Licenses

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to remove from the City Charter the area and spacing requirements pertaining to liquor licenses?

You vote either YES or NO.

Coverage I’ve found:

Referendum may expand restaurant liquor licensing, Southwest Journal

Ballot Question #1 on November 6 City Ballot, Fulton Neighborhood Association

YesOn1, from the restaurant owners who would like to be able to serve cocktails

Minneapolis neighborhood restaurants fight for the right to serve cocktails, Star Tribune

Basically, right now, if you are a restaurant owner whose building is on quaint little street corner that’s not a large commercial district, and you would like to serve wine, beer, and cocktails, you have to hire a lobbyist to get you an exemption from the state legislature in order to serve the cocktails. You also have to get a liquor license from the city for all this stuff.

This will remove the step where you have to go to the legislature. (Licensing will work basically the same otherwise.) This does not affect retail establishments such as grocery stores and liquor stores — just restaurants.

This is a ridiculous thing to even have in the city charter and can definitely be handled by the licensing board. Vote yes.

 

 

 

 

 

Election 2018: US House, 5th Congressional District

As I started up a video to watch Jennifer Zielinski talk at the State Fair along with Greg Ryan, it occurred to me that I could maybe devote a little less perfectionistic attention to the races where (a) nothing I find is going to change who I’d vote for and (b) nothing I write is going to change who wins.

This seat hasn’t been held by a Republican since 1962.  Keith Ellison’s lowest total was 56% the first time he ran, when the Republican and the Independence candidate more or less tied with 21%. The most impressively unbalanced result was in 2012, when Keith got 75% to the Republican’s 25%.

Given this, I’m sure it was a huge relief to the Republicans that Jennifer Zielinski stepped forward to run and the Republican slot didn’t go to Bob “Again” Carney, who published a book calling for Trump to be impeached, or Chris Chamberlin, who ran for President in 2016 under the name Vlad Draculea. Their best case in a race like this is a friendly, hardworking, basically normal person who will campaign and turn out the vote because it’ll help them in statewide races.

On the ballot:

Ilhan Omar (DFL)
Jennifer Zielinski (Republican)

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Election 2018: Hennepin County Attorney

The Hennepin County Attorney does a bunch of stuff but here’s the aspect of the job that tends to get the most attention these days: this is the person who decides whether to file charges against the cops when they shoot someone.

Currently, the job is held by Mike Freeman, who did file charges against Mohamed Noor for shooting Justine Damond, but did not file charges against the officers who shot Jamar Clark or Thurman Blevins. His opponent is Mark Haase. More below the cut.

On the ballot:

Mike Freeman (Incumbent)
Mark Haase (DFL-endorsed)

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Elections 2018: US Representative, District 5

This race abruptly got more interesting during the DFL State Convention, when Keith Ellison decided to run for Attorney General, opening up this seat. There was a mad dash to file; a bunch of the filers then withdrew after seeing someone they liked and respected (or didn’t think they could reasonably beat) in the contest. The 5th district DFL reconvened and held an endorsing convention, which I thought was an absolutely terrible idea under the circumstances. Anyway, it’s been an interesting year.

The good news: this is a very, very, very, very blue district. In 2016, Keith Ellison won with 69.1% of the vote (and the “Legal Marijuana Now” person got 8% of what was left.) If this is your district, you can vote your heart in the primary without asking yourself, “but will this person win in the general?” Also, if you want any input on your next congressional rep, you will definitely want to show up on August 14th.

The candidates running:

Frank Nelson Drake
Bobby Joe Champion
Jamal Abdi Abdulahi
Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Patricia Torres Ray
Ilhan Omar

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Minneapolis Elections: Naomi’s Sample Ballot

A quick reminder to those who don’t know this: I actually live in St. Paul (I lived in Minneapolis for 17 years, and started election blogging when I still lived in Minneapolis, but I moved across the river in 2012.) These are the people I would be voting for — I don’t actually vote for any of them.


MAYOR

  1. Betsy Hodges
  2. Raymond Dehn
  3. Nekima Levy-Pounds

All my posts on the Minneapolis Mayoral race.


CITY COUNCIL

Ward 1

  1. Jillia Pessenda
  2. Kevin Reich

Ward 1 analysis here.

Ward 2

Cam Gordon is running unopposed.

Ward 3

  1. Steve Fletcher
  2. Samantha Pree-Simpson
  3. Tim Bildsoe

Ward 3 analysis here.

Ward 4

  1. Phillipe Cunninghamd
  2. Stephanie Gasca

Ward 4 analysis here.

Ward 5

  1. Jeremiah Ellison
  2. Raeisha (RA) Williams

Ward 5 analysis here.

Ward 6

  1. Mohamud Noor

Ward 6 analysis here.

Ward 7

  1. Janne Flisrand
  2. Teqen Zea-Aida

Ward 7 analysis here.

Ward 8

  1. Andrea Jenkins

Ward 8 analysis here.

Ward 9

  1. Gary Schiff
  2. Mohamed Farah

Ward 9 analysis here.

Ward 10

  1. Lisa Bender

Ward 10 analysis here.

Ward 11

  1. Erica Mauter
  2. Jeremy Schroeder

I’ll add to this one — whichever you rank first, you should definitely rank the other second. They’re both awesome.

Ward 11 analysis here.

Ward 12

  1. Andrew Johnson

Ward 12 analysis here.

Ward 13

  1. Linea Palmisano

Ward 13 analysis here.


BOARD OF ESTIMATE AND TAXATION

  1. Carol Becker
  2. David Wheeler

BET analysis here. (Carol and David are unopposed on the ballot.)


PARK AND RECREATION COMMISSIONERS AT-LARGE

  1. Latrisha Vetaw
  2. Devin Hogan
  3. Londel French

(Note: there are three open seats, but order matters.)

Park Board At-Large Race analysis here. All Park Board posts (including my analysis of the Political Cycle of Life) here.


PARK AND RECREATION COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT SEATS

District 1

  1. Chris Meyer
  2. Billy Menz

Park Board District 1 analysis here.

District 2

  1. Kale Severson
  2. Mike “Talley” Tate

Park Board District 2 analysis here.

District 3

  1. AK Hassan
  2. Abdi Gurhan Mohamed

Park Board District 3 analysis here.

District 4

  1. Jono Cowgill
  2. Tom Nordyke

Park Board District 4 analysis here.

District 5

  1. Steffanie Musich
  2. Bill Shroyer

Park Board District 5 analysis here.

District 6

  1. Brad Bourn

Park Board District 6 analysis here.


And, hey, was my analysis useful to you this year? Are you thinking to yourself, “wow, I wish this fine person had a Patreon link”? I do not have a Patreon link, but you could buy a copy of my latest book (a short story collection) or one of my two ebook-only collections (Comrade Grandmother or Gift of the Winter King). Or! For a limited time only (the next month), you can donate to my fundraiser for the Bridge For Youth!(Because it’s specifically my fundraiser I can see how much my fans have donated,which is pretty awesome.) The Bridge for Youth is a Twin Cities non-profit that provides counseling, support, shelter, and services (including long-term transitional services) to homeless teens (and even younger children — their shelter houses kids as young as ten.)

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to vote tomorrow!